While the software accompanying the PlayStation Move may be more mature in it’s presentation than that available for Wii, it certainly follows the same “simplicity = attractive” formula in terms of marketing. Wii Sports is a game about sports as much as The Fight is a game about fighting. No prizes for guessing what The Shoot is about, then.
Cast in the role of an actor on a film set, The Shoot is an inspired take on its subject matter, with a well written theme track as an accompaniment. Though many games have been based upon such a premise previously, few bring quite as much personality of their own, and even fewer bring such a likeable character. The all-too-simple tutorial introduces the player to the arcade-shooting mechanic, in which player’s multiplier builds with consecutive hits, and drops two for every miss (except when hitting environmental objects). Hitting set points on the multiplier bonus will make a new special available, of which there are three – Showtime, Shockwave and Rampage. Showtime is performed by spinning 360 degrees, or by rotating the PlayStation Move controller around your head like a lasso. Shockwave and Rampage are much simpler, pointing the controller down or up and pressing the trigger respectively.
The puzzlingly single-player only Career mode offers a small selection of differently themed levels based around common film genres, such as western and sci-fi. Each level has five stages, with a final score being the combined result. In addition to the pursuit of high scores however, there are poster pieces littered throughout to find collect. The Challenge mode then asks you to complete the jigsaw presented by each level’s poster pieces, as a very distraction. Ultimately, the real meat of the game lies in the Score Attacks mode, which can be played as both a single-player and multiplayer mode.
Available for up to two players either simultaneously with two PlayStation Move controllers or alternately when playing with just one, the Score Attack mode allows players to play through each completed stage from each level, but bizarrely doesn’t allow you to play through all five in one sitting without being forced back out to the menu. Obviously this is a minor irritation in what is undoubtedly The Shoot’s finest gameplay option.
A previously stated, the level of character in The Shoot is perhaps its most winning feature, pleasantly unpretentious and understated as it may be. The cut-out enemies and civilians work well without the brightly coloured environments, and the effects compliment the tempo in the closing moments of stages when the adrenaline gets pumping. The narrator can become quite an irritation, but is also useful for planning moments ahead – once a player learns the arrangement of a level however, there’s little standing in the way of the option to turn him off.
While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with The Shoot, it suffers from the same incredibly short lifespan as most arcade-style shooting games. The five levels on offer simply don’t offer enough depth or endurance for The Shoot to be considered anything more than a well designed party game in the same vein as Kung Fu Rider or Start the Party!. The Shoot may sell well to an audience unaware of the likes of Time Crisis: Razing Storm, but evidently that simple title reveals much more about the game than just its core mechanic.